Dollar remittances surpassed prepandemic levels in Oct, says BSP
The value of remittances, in cash or in kind, from Filipinos who work abroad or migrated overseas reached $28.8 billion in the 10 months to end-October, surpassing the $27.6 billion recorded in 2019 before the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said preliminary data also show that the amount chalked up for January-October this year was 5.4 percent higher than the $27.4 billion recorded in the same period of 2020.
Such increase also surpassed the 4.6-percent growth of personal remittances received in the first 10 months of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. Last year, at the height of the pandemic, 10-month personal remittances shrank by one percent.
In October alone, personal remittances grew by 2.4 percent year-on-year to $3.12 billion from $3.04 billion. This was a slight slowdown from a 2.5 percent growth observed in October 2020 compared to October 2019 inflow.
The BSP attributed growth in personal remittances in October to increasing inflows from land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) employed for at least one year, who sent in $2.44 billion, which was an increase of 2.8 percent from $2.37 billion.
Another reason was the 0.5-percent increase in remittances from OFWs—both land-based and sea-based—who are engaged in contracts of less than a year. They sent in $615 million, higher than the previous amount of $612 million.
Of the personal remittances that were coursed through banks—which the BSP calls “cash remittances”—there was an increase of 2.4 percent in October, from $2.75 billion to $2.81 billion.
In the 10 months to October, cash remittances increased by 5.3 percent to reach $25.93 billion from $24.63 billion.
During this period, growth in cash remittances was buoyed by increasing inflows coming from the United States, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The United States accounted for 41 percent of total cash remittances in the first 10 months of this year. This is mainly due to a common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad, which is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the United States.
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